Help Your Child With Math
❏ Ask your child to explain what he or she learned in math class today. Letting children take the teacher role gives them the chance to practice new skills and to clarify their thinking on a lesson.
❏ Teach your child math by teaching him or her about money.
❏ Talk to your child about how adults use math in their everyday lives—grocery shopping, budgeting, balancing a checkbook, and checking clothing sizes, for example.
❏ Talk about people who use math in their jobs,
including builders, architects, engineers, computer
professionals, and scientists.
❏ Schedule a time and provide a quiet environment for your child to work only on math homework.
❏ Buy a few inexpensive, age-appropriate math workbooks for your child to use at home. You may not think children would sit around and do math problems for fun, but some do.
❏ Ask your child’s teacher if you can volunteer to help with math activities in your child’s classroom.
Volunteering specifically for these activities will show your child that you believe learning math skills is important.
❏ Talk to a teacher anytime you have questions or concerns about your child’s math skills. Ask, “What are some specific things I can do to help at home?”
❏ Teach your child math tricks, such as the 9-method. Example: To figure out 9 x 7, hold out all 10 fingers. Start counting at the pinky finger on your left hand, and then lower the seventh finger (the index finger on your right hand). There are now six fingers to the left and three fingers to the right of the seventh finger. The answer is 63. The trick works with 9 x 2 through 9 x 10.
❏ Use a storybook to increase your child’s interest in math, read a story about measurement and after you read the story, you may want to help your child measure things around the house.
❏ “Make math a game, for example, work on number recognition and counting skills by looking for numbers on houses or car tags when you take a walk together through your neighborhood.”
❏ Many young children enjoy playing school. Join them, and use flashcards with basic multiplication or division problems. Help your child figure out the answers with beans, poker chips, or just your fingers. Take turns being the teacher.
Fourth graders will learn about the following styles of writing:
- Descriptive writing, which creates a clear and vivid picture of a person, place, or thing
- Expository nonfiction writing, which explains an event or idea using facts and examples
- Narrative writing, which describes an experience in a personal voice
- Persuasive writing, which encourages readers to accept the writer’s beliefs or opinions
The writing process
Fourth graders continue to learn the lessons about writing they began in earlier grades, with a special focus on a writing process that includes prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Students should recognize that writing is more than just putting words down on paper. Instead of seeing just an end product, students should see writing as an act of communication that involves a lengthy process.
In fourth grade we cover these steps:
- Prewriting: Part of the first stage of the writing process, prewriting activities can include drawing, free-writing, brainstorming, or even using a “graphic organizer” like a Venn diagram to compare two ideas. During this stage, the writer should be working to envision a target reader or audience. The writer should feel confident that the writing and the audience are a good fit.
- Drafting: The writer then develops a topic on paper or using a computer. At this stage, the focus is on the content of the writing, not the mechanics. Writers should begin to organize their thoughts and develop the structure of the paper, beginning to think about the "hook" that will engage the reader. Lastly they develop a conclusion that ties everything together.
- Revising: Next the writer makes changes to the draft to improve the writing and make it clear. This may include additions or deletions, or changes in the sentence structure or organization. At this stage, a friend’s or teacher’s input can be especially helpful.
- Editing: In the editing stage, the writer pays careful attention to mechanics, including spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting. It’s helpful to have a peer or teacher edit the work.
- Publishing: The final draft is then shared with the desired audience, which might include classmates or parents.